There are so many moments that Teddy and I look at each other and know how blessed we are to have the family we have now, and that is always what we ultimately look to. But sometimes it’s hard. Raising our girls to the best we can control in our own home and environment, and then letting them go to another parent, that we know loves them, but we can’t control what they are going to do, or feel, or learn while they’re away from us.
The words “I miss my daddy”, might mean something different for so many people. For me they are words that I dread and yet am happy my 3 and a half year old daughter speaks. The other day she said those words “I miss my daddy” while sitting at the table to eat her lunch. After consoling her a bit, I realize she doesn’t think she’s going to see him for a long time. For her daddy is the guy she goes and sees every now and then, that she seems to have fun with, and then she comes back home to her mommy family with me and Teddy and her eight year old ‘sissy'(if sissy isn’t staying with her other mom).
It’s a hard conversation trying to comfort my child when she misses her daddy. And trying to be the most positive about him and yet know so many negatives. I know the importance of her having her dad in her life and all the psychological reasonings behind this, but I also see the psychological turmoil she has (even at 3 years old) when daddy doesn’t come when he says. It has to be so hard on her little mind to go back and forth and sometimes not know when she will see him. It is heart breaking.
I see sooner than I expected, her acting out when these emotional struggles hit her and her little body just doesn’t know what to do with them. My parenting skills get challenged and exhausted 100% during these times.. trying to balance how to discipline her and comfort her when these situations arise. She pushes the limits and has an emotional breakdown that nothing will snap her out of. At the beginning I saw these fits as 2 year old tantrums.. but soon began to realize the depth of emotions they actually had in them, especially when she began wanting to hit me. I read this article from Aha! Parenting on toddlers biting and hitting and it really gave me such great perspective on what this means. I wept so hard while reading the portion about her having “big feelings that scare her, and that are hard for her to control.” I knew these were not typical toddler tantrums of wanting what she wanted.. deep down I knew there was more to them.
Once I realized the underlying emotions she was dealing with it became easier to handle the situations. I had know idea she would begin to understand so much at such a young age. But when transitions happen, or schedules change, or she ‘misses daddy’, the fits get stronger and all I want to do is hug her and comfort her, but she doesn’t let me. Once we make it through the emotional roller coaster and she finally will come in my arms and let all her tears out, I ask her if there’s anything that she’s sad about and wants to talk about. She usually will say “I miss my daddy”, or “I miss my sissy”, or “I just miss you, mommy”. We talk through these things and then we talk about how much she is loved.. and go through all the people that love her so much.. including her daddy. She smiles when we talk about all the people and she joins in and starts saying people as well. It’s really sweet, and such a reminder to me as well about how much I’m loved and blessed too.
Though I only control the time I have with her, that time is so full of love and joy with our little family of four that I know she will always have confidence in that. She truly is such a loved little girl, and I know deep down even through the struggles and pains, that she will be such a strong, confident, joyful girl and lady some day. I rest in that.